April 2016 Comments


ANON Apr 30th, 2016 @ 12:05 PM

Paedophile's wife researched victims' care records…

The wife of a convicted paedophile looked up social care records of his victims using council computers, a court heard.

Andris Logins was jailed in March for raping and assaulting boys and girls at a children's home in Nottinghamshire.

Helen Logins, 52, admitted six offences under the Computer Misuse Act before her husband went on trial.

Nottingham Crown Court heard she abused her position as a Nottingham City Council manager.

She searched confidential care records and case files of people who had accused her husband of carrying out the offences in the 1980s, the hearing was told.

Handing Logins a 12-month suspended sentence, Judge James Sampson said her actions were a "gross breach of trust".
'Intensely personal'

He added: "Your motive was to assist your husband. You couldn't resist temptation.

"You have now lost your job, your career, your husband to a 20-year sentence and I accept that these last three years have been stressful for both you and your children."

Prosecutor Mary Prior said Logins "abused her position of trust by accessing the social care files" and "seeing the most intensely personal information".

Mitigating, Sarah Knight, said the defendant had wanted to check whether she had had any dealings with them.

"Knowing that her husband was being investigated was, for her, a living nightmare.

She panicked," she added....

Logins, of Stiles Road, Arnold, was dismissed from her position at Nottingham City Council in June last year.

The authority said her actions were "a significant breach of professional and ethical standards" and it stayed "committed to protecting the privacy".

ANON Apr 29th, 2016 @ 12:23 PM

1/2...€23m in redress paid to Magdalene laundry survivors…

Some 624 women held in Magdalene laundries have to date received a lump sum payment of more than €23m under a government redress scheme.

The payments work out at an average of €36,858.

According to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, some 807 applications have been received under the Magdalene Laundries Restorative Justice Ex-Gratia Scheme.

She said 103 applications were refused, as the women had not been admitted to one of the 12 specified institutions.

Ms Fitzgerald said 11 applications were received from women who are now resident in the US.
“Eight of these women have received their lump- sum payments and the other three applications were refused as the women had not been admitted to a relevant institution,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

A number of women who claim they were used as forced labour in High Park Magdalene laundry in Dublin, but who have been excluded from the redress scheme, launched a High Court challenge to the decision last year.

The basis for excluding the women was that, although it was accepted they worked at the High Park Magdalene laundry, they were not admitted to it.

They had been admitted to An Grianán Institution, which was on the grounds of the convent laundry.

The case followed revelations in the Irish Examiner that evidence that An Grianán and High Park Magdalene Laundry were “one and the same thing” was uncovered by the HSE in 2012.

ANON Apr 29th, 2016 @ 12:21 PM

2/2...The revelation was contained in a memo sent from the then assistant director of the Children and Family Services, Phil Garland, to the Department of Children and
Youth Affairs representative on the McAleese committee, Denis O’Sullivan, and Gordon Jeyes, the national director of the Children and Family Services at the HSE, on June 26, 2012, while the HSE was examining the laundries issue as part of the McAleese inquiry.

Mr Garland points out that the HSE had uncovered evidence that showed “quite categorically” that An Grianán and High Park Magdalene Laundry were “one and the same thing”.

However, despite the revelation, Ms Fitzgerald reiterated the view that An Grianán “served a different purpose” to High Park Magdalene laundry, and stated it had already been included Residential Institutions Redress Board Scheme.

Two other institutions not previously considered laundries St Mary’s Training Centres in Stanhope St, Dublin; and Summerhill in Wexford were included in the redress scheme.

Justice for Magdalene Research has pointed out that not all residents knew they were entitled to compensation under the previous redress scheme and has accused the Government of denying justice to victims of forced labour.

The group has also been extremely critical of the legislation brought in last year to provide survivors with access to a range of primary and community health services free of charge as recommended in the Magdalen Commission Report by retired High Court Judge and president of the Law Reform Commission, Mr Justice John Quirke.

Justice for Magdalene Research has said that the provisions do not provide the women with the same range of drugs and services made available to Health (Amendment) Act cardholders as promised

ANON Apr 28th, 2016 @ 11:49 AM

A County Londonderry man who admitted abusing two girls over a seven-year period from 1973 has been jailed for five years.

Kevin Doherty, 61, from Main Street, Eglinton, was sentenced at Londonderry Crown Court.

He pleaded guilty to six charges of indecent assault and four charges of committing gross indecency with or towards a child.

The victims said they wanted Doherty "named and shamed".

The pair, who have automatic life-long anonymity, were in court for sentencing and spoke after Doherty had been jailed.

They said that the sentence had given them back their self-esteem and self-respect.

"We want to thank the judge for his sensitivity and for his sentencing comments which we believe are aimed at protecting vulnerable children from the type of sexual abuse we endured.

"We would also encourage other abused people who are suffering in silence, like we did for so long, to report their abuse to the authorities."

The court heard that Doherty's crimes began when he was 18 and the victims were aged six and 16.

When he abused his youngest victim over a prolonged period of time, the court was told that he gave her sweets and instructed her to say nothing.

The court heard that the abuse came to light at a meeting in a local parochial house in August 2013, which was attended by one of the victims, Doherty and by a local priest.

After the meeting one of the abused women went to the police, accompanied by a member of the Derry Diocesan Safeguarding team, and reported her abuse to the police.

In sentencing, the judge said the victims had been subjected to callous and shameful abuse.

He said the maximum sentence of two years, which was in force at the time of the abuse, was "clearly inadequate and a five-year jail sentence is both just and appropriate".

He added that while Doherty deserves some credit by pleading guilty, it took the accused two years to admit his guilt to offences he had initially denied.

The judge said it was clear from victim impact reports that both women still suffered the effects of the abuse.

He said he was also aware that four of Doherty's five children had refused to have any contact with him since he admitted the offences last January.

Doherty was sentenced to five years in jail, with two years on probation after his prison release.

He is also banned to associating with children younger than 16 for an indefinite period and that he must live at an address approved by social services after his release from prison.

ANON Apr 27th, 2016 @ 12:15 PM

Cork man who raped his niece is jailed for four years…

Victim was aged between eight and thirteen years at the time of the offences

A Cork man who raped and sexually assaulted his niece has been jailed for four years at the Central Criminal Court.

Last month the 55-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the victim’s anonymity, was found guilty of two counts of rape and one count of indecent assault of the girl, at the accused man’s home between 1977 and 1985.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The victim, a daughter of the accused’s older sister, was aged between eight and thirteen years at the time of the offences.

Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy sentenced the man to ten years in prison with six years suspended for the two rape offences and six years in prison with four years suspended for the indecent assault offence.

All sentences are to run concurrently.

The man, who has no previous convictions, was declared a sex offender.

The judge said the complainant had read her victim impact report with “great dignity.”

The court heard that the accused had a number of medical issues .

Ms Justice Kennedy said she had carefully considered the man’s medical conditions and how a custodial sentence “would prove difficult for him.”

However she said having taken into consideration all the evidence, a custodial sentence was necessary.

The judge said the aggravating factors included the abuse of trust, threats made to the child as she was at the time and its effect on the injured party.

The mitigating factors included that the man suffered from ill health and how a custodial sentence would be more difficult for him,. as well as the fact that he was aged between 16 and 21 years of age at the time of the offences.

Benson Apr 25th, 2016 @ 08:56 AM

Churches in South America are buzzing with priests who were transferred there from places like U.S. and U.K. But many of these priests have a dark, unknown past.

A lot has changed in U.S. and U.K. in the past several decades. As society distances itself from the hold of religious institutions, the power of clerical authorities has waned in the developed countries. This has weaved new patterns on our social fabric, but one undeniably positive thing to come out of this change was that priests and religious figures are no longer immune to the law of the land.

After exhaustive investigations revealed that priests often targeted vulnerable children in the church, authorities started to take action and more priests were made to pay for the crimes. This policy means that churches no longer welcome priests accused of molestation.

So where do these priests go?

The Catholic Church, if it cannot protect its priests in developed countries, conveniently sends them to places where they will not have to face the consequences of their actions.

A recent report by GlobalPost sheds light on this chilling new trend of the Catholic Church sending accused priests to places like Peru and Brazil.

One such priest is the Rev. Jan Van Dael, 76, a Belgian living in Caucaia, Brazil, who is being investigated by the Brazilian and Belgian authorities on a plethora of child abuse allegations.

But in the northeastern Brazilian city where he lives, Van Dael enjoys a fairly relaxed life. There are no authorities ousting him from his position and taking him into custody, no TV channel hogging him all day.

Van Dael, under his charity, distributes soup to locals and is allowed to be in dangerous proximity to children. During the interview with GlobalPost, he reached out to touch a child's hair, affectionately saying that he reminds him of a boy he had in his house in Rio de Janeiro. Van Dael's room is lined with photos of children.

These are all the perks of the retirement plan offered by the Catholic Church to priests accused of rape and abuse. Spend a lifetime preying on children, before the church sends you off to a place where no one questions your morals.

The horrific thing is, the Catholic Church uses this as a tried and true method.


Benson Apr 23rd, 2016 @ 09:48 AM

A victim of clergy sex abuse will not cooperate with a Church review because "bullying and silencing" were not in the terms of reference.

Rev Graham Sawyer announced his decision in a letter to Dame Moira Gibb, who chairs an independent review of how the Church of England handled allegations made against Peter Ball, former Bishop of Lewes.

Ball, now 84, was jailed in October for abuses against teenagers and young men in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Sawyer, who waived his right to anonymity before Ball's trial, said he objected because his alleged treatment by current senior Church officials would not be covered in the inquiry.

In the letter, seen by the BBC, Sawyer writes: "I realise that decisions over terms of reference are not your prerogative.

"Nevertheless, that there has clearly been resistance to suggestions of them specifically mentioning bullying, vilification and silencing, sends a worrying but sadly very predictable signal from the Church of England at its very highest levels that these systemically vital matters are not going to be addressed with the fundamental importance they deserve.

"Please inform Archbishop Welby that I therefore decline to give evidence to the review he has established because of the failure of the terms of reference to be amended to include bullying and silencing with a plea for him personally to reconsider this."

Sawyer rejected a meeting with the Church's safeguarding officer, Graham Tilby, according to the BBC.

A spokeswoman said the Church offered an "unreserved apology to all the survivors".

"Archbishop Justin has publicly said it is a matter of deep shame and regret that a bishop in the Church of England committed these offences and there are no excuses whatsoever for what took place and the systematic abuse of trust perpetrated by Peter Ball over decades.

"The Review, which started in February and is expected to last a year, will provide the Church as a whole with an opportunity to learn lessons which will improve our safeguarding practice and policy."

Benson Apr 23rd, 2016 @ 09:46 AM

A priest risks excommunication if he divulges what was said to him in confession, Father Thomas Doyle, a canon lawyer from the Washington D.C. area, told claimants’ lawyer Geoff Budden in the Mount Cashel civil trial.

The seal means that nothing the confessor says in confession can be revealed in any way.

“(The priest) cannot go to the archbishop, to anybody, even to the Pope, and say, ‘This boy came to me and confessed sexual abuse,’” Doyle told the court. “He has to take a very indirect route if he is going to deal with this. It is possible and it can and should be done.”

The John Doe lawsuit against the RC Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s seeks compensation and involves four test cases that claim the church should be held liable for the physical and sexual abuse of boys at the orphanage by certain Christian Brothers during the period of the late 1940s to early 1960s. The test cases represent about 60 claimants in the case being pursued by Budden and Associates.

The church contends it did not run the orphanage, and therefore is not responsible for actions there of the lay order Christian Brothers.

Doyle said the most ordinary option taken by priests being told of abuse has been to tell the confessor to avoid the situation and to take penance.

Another option — in the case of a boy telling a priest in confession about being abused at an institution — would be for a priest to advise the boy to go to an authority at the institution and reveal what happened.

But he said, the priest could also ask to meet with the boy outside confession, where the boy could reveal the same information.

The priest could have taken the option of telling the archbishop in a vague way — one that does not give away the confessor — that he heard of something going on, Doyle suggested.

“What he could do … would be to say, ‘Archbishop, I have received some information some bad or inappropriate things are happening between some of the Brothers and some of the boys,’ and assume the archbishop is going to pick up on that,” Doyle said.

“That’s dangerous ground if you reveal anything. You may be protecting the boys in the long run, but your skin is involved, too.”

The court previously heard testimony from former residents about abuse at the orphanage being told to a priest in confession.

Doyle allowed in cross-examination by Susan Adam Metzler, a lawyer for the Episcopal Corp., that the archbishop did not manage the day-to-day operations of

ANON Apr 22nd, 2016 @ 01:12 PM

1/2…72-year-old jailed for four years for ‘horrific abuse’ of granddaughter, aged 9…

A 72-year-old man made his granddaughter act out scenes from internet pornography with him, a court has heard.

The case was at the high end of the scale, Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said yesterday, as he imposed a seven-year jail term, with the last three years suspended.

The sexual offender cannot be named as it would identify the child.

The accused was convicted last November. Yesterday Christopher Meehan, defending, said the accused did not accept the jury’s verdict.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said the jury saw the girl give her evidence by video link to Cork Circuit Criminal Court and they believed her “because her evidence was powerful and true.”

“The complainant was subjected on a repeated basis to dreadful, horrific abuse,” he said.

“You were showing her graphic abuse from your own store of material and subjected to this breach of trust by you.

“This was an extremely loving, caring child that you abused.

She was sent down to you because your wife had died and to comfort and help you.

And you abused her in this base way.

“I agreed for once with the DPP, these offences were very much at the higher end of the scale, showing the child of this age pornographic videos and getting her to try to act them out is really dreadful.”

ANON Apr 22nd, 2016 @ 01:09 PM

2/2...Judge Ó Donnabháin said the accused had met the case with absolute and dogged determination and an absence of remorse.

The victim said she was most hurt by the fact that her grandfather knew what he had done but still put her through having to give evidence in the trial and he did not tell the truth.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said: “He destroyed her innocence. He may have done that but he cannot deny her her happiness.”

There was evidence during the trial that he also sexually assaulted the child while he watched Coronation Street and on another occasion got her to play strip poker with him.
The accused had denied all four charges of sexually assaulting the nine-year-old in West Cork. Asked by investigating gardaí why she would have made the claims if they were untrue, the accused said the girl was being put up to it for money because her parents had financial trouble.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said of the injured party, who gave her evidence by video from a room separate from the courtroom: “I thought she was very convincing and very well grounded and to be absolutely believed on everything she said.”

Mr Meehan gave a detailed account of the defendant’s poor health, which he said made imprisonment worse for him. He also said the accused continued to maintain his innocence.

The accused has been in custody since the jury found him guilty in November.
Judge Ó Donnabháin backdated the sentence to that date.

ANON Apr 22nd, 2016 @ 01:06 PM

Limerick woman takes action against Bishop Casey…

Civil proceedings are part of four cases regarding members of clergy in the diocese.

A Limerick woman has initiated civil proceedings in the High Court against Bishop Eamon Casey, among four cases regarding various members of the clergy in the Limerick diocese over several decades.

The proceedings against Bishop Casey, now 88, and living in a nursing home in Co Clare, are listed among four sets of civil proceedings in relation to at least two priests, regarding a number of claims in the Limerick diocese.

A summons has been issued on both Bishop Casey, and the Bishop of Limerick,

Dr Brendan Leahy in his representative capacity as the current head of the diocese.

One of the cases is being taken by a Limerick woman against Bishop Casey, who was based in Limerick from 1955 to 1960, when he served at St John’s Cathedral as curate.

Records show that Bishop Leahy, on behalf of the diocese, has entered an appearance in the case but has not yet filed a defence.

While the Limerick diocese is being represented in this case by Leahy & Partner solicitors in Limerick, Bishop Casey does not have any legal representation to date, according to court correspondence.

A number of legal firms are representing the four plaintiffs. The series of proceedings were initiated last November, with the latter two proceedings entered this February.

Dr Leahy is also listed in a purely representative capacity as current head of the diocese in three other sets of proceedings.

Another civil case entered in the High Court in November is being taken by a man against the diocese and a named priest who once served in a west Limerick parish

ANON Apr 21st, 2016 @ 02:08 PM

1//2...'Staggering' Rise In Child Abuse Images Detected

The internet watchdog finds record numbers of child sex abuse images after being given more search powers by the government.

Child sex abuse images are increasingly being found and removed
Record numbers of web pages containing child sexual abuse images are being detected following a dramatic spike in reports, an internet watchdog reveals.

The Internet Watch Foundation identified and took down more than 68,000 sites containing child sex abuse last year a rise of 118% on 2014, and more than 400% on 2013.

Pages containing child sexual abuse imagery were recorded by the organisation at a rate of nearly 200 every day.

In October action was taken on a record-breaking 941 web pages in a single day.

Each confirmed report could involve one or 1,000 images.

The IWF said the 'staggering' figures follow the decision to give it more powers in 2014 to allow its analysts to search for abuse imagery, in addition to handling notifications from members of the public.

Susie Hargreaves, chief executive of the IWF, said: "Last year our analysts broke all records for assessing reports.

"By being allowed to actively search for these hideous images of children, we've seen a dramatic increase in the sheer number of illegal images and videos that we've been able to remove from the internet."

All but 0.2% of the offending content is produced outside the UK

ANON Apr 21st, 2016 @ 02:06 PM

2/2The IWF annual report revealed:

:: More than two thirds of victims were assessed as 10 or under, while 1,788 - or 3% were two or under.

:: A third of images were in Category A, which covers rape or sexual torture of children.

:: The UK hosts 0.2% of the global total of online child sexual abuse content, with action taken on 135 web pages hosting images and videos in this country.

The study also set out trends in the techniques used by offenders to evade detection.
Last year, for the first time, experts observed that some "hidden services" on the section of the internet known as the dark web were regularly changing web addresses.

The report said: "Child sexual abuse websites on the open web regularly do this to try to stop being found. But this was the first time we'd seen it routinely done by hidden services."

The IWF was established in 1996 and is funded by the EU and the online industry.

An NSPCC spokesman said: "Each of these images is a crime scene and behind each crime scene is a victim; it is horrifying that so much of the imagery features the rape or torture of very young children, the worst category possible.

"The trade in child abuse imagery is a borderless crime and global efforts to tackle it must be a priority."

Writing in the report, Prime Minister David Cameron said: "This has been a hugely important year for those at the front of our global efforts against the crime of the taking and sharing of images depicting the sexual abuse of children."

John Fitzgerald Apr 19th, 2016 @ 02:57 AM


ANON Apr 16th, 2016 @ 12:56 PM

Ex-Police Trainee Jailed For Child Sex Attacks …

Mohammad Arshad, who found his vulnerable victims on sites such as Facebook, had an "obsession" with targeting young girls.

A former trainee police officer has been jailed for rape and other sex crimes against underage girls after "harvesting" young victims from social media.

Mohammad Arshad, from Luton, was sentenced to 15 years in prison, a month after he was convicted of 17 offences against 12 victims as young as 13.

The 35-year-old was a trainee police officer between April and October 2014, but was suspended when a mother of one of his victims came forward.

Arshad was "dangerous" and had abused his position in the police, St Albans Crown Court heard.

He groomed vulnerable girls through Facebook, WhatsApp and BlackBerry Messenger, sometimes lying about his age and gaining their trust by saying he was a police officer.

He had tried to befriend the girls, sometimes offering them cigarettes and alcohol, before later asking them to perform sexual acts in exchange for money. He was found to have the details of hundreds of girls.

In one example, he asked a girl to come with him in his car before forcing her into the back seat and raping her.

Some of his victims described being taken advantage of, and feeling "physically sick" and "upset" when they re-read the messages in victim statements.

One said: "He abused my childhood and all the other girls trust and hurt them by trying to be our friend."

Arshad was convicted of nine counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity, three of sexual activity with a child and two of meeting a child following sexual grooming.

He was also found guilty of one count of rape, causing a child to watch a sexual act and paying for the sexual services of a child.

Judge John Carol, jailing Arshad for 15 years with an eight-year extended licensee period, said he was "obsessed with turning as many contacts with these young girls as possible into sexual encounters."

He said he rejected the defendant's claim that he had not known that his victims were underage, adding: "You became a honeypot surrounded by young girls."

Arshad's lawyer said that her client was "ashamed" of his behavior and added that police found no evidence he had an "obsession with children."

ANON Apr 16th, 2016 @ 12:53 PM

Trainee vicar jailed for raping teenage girls…

A trainee vicar who groomed and raped two teenage girls he befriended at religious summer camps has been jailed for 15 years.

Timothy Storey, 35, a former church youth leader, bombarded his victims with sex texts and social media messages to manipulate them into meeting him.

One was later attacked at his Oxford home after he took her to a concert and plied her with alcohol.

He used his respectable position as a youth leader to gain the second victim's trust, and sexually assaulted her on two separate occasions between 2008 and 2009.

Judge Philip Katz QC said Storey's "insidious" behavior meant he was a serious danger to the public and ordered he serve an extended period of four years on licensee on top of his 15-year custodial sentence.

The two women decided to come forward and tell police about their ordeals after Storey was convicted in May 2014 of grooming girls aged 10 to 16 and encouraging them to perform sexual acts via social media.

Storey was found guilty of three counts of rape and one of assault by penetration in February following a retrial at London's Woolwich Crown Court and was jailed at the same court on Friday.

Storey, formerly of Packham Grove in Packham, south London, showed no emotion as the judge passed sentence.

ANON Apr 16th, 2016 @ 12:51 PM

Paedophile obsessed with schoolgirls avoids prison over child porn…

A Co Antrim man with a self-confessed unhealthy interest in schoolgirls has been placed on probation after child porn was found on his computer equipment.

Gerard Todd, from Dickeytown in Ballyclare, was placed on probation for three years after he admitted possessing 28 indecent images of children.

The 55-year-old's home was searched by police on February 13, 2013 and two laptops were seized.

The images were discovered after the computers were forensically searched.

Prosecutor Simon Jenkins told Belfast Crown Court that when Todd was interviewed about the images he admitted using the laptops to search for and view pornographic images of children.

He further admitted having an "unhealthy interest in schoolgirls".

Mr Jenkins also spoke of the defendant's "relevant record" as an "aggravating factor in the case".

In 1997 Todd was charged with indecent behavior after he parked close to a school bus and was observed with his hands down his trousers.

And in 2013 he was charged with the theft of a schoolgirl's gym bag, which he stole from outside an Asda store in Ballyclare.

A defence barrister spoke of the "relatively modest" amount of images located on the laptops, revealed they were still pictures as opposed to movies, and said that a "majority" of the images were in the least serious category.

Telling Todd that "such behavior simply cannot be tolerated", Judge Gordon Kerr QC said that these images "can only come about because of the abuse of children who are abused in the most serious way".

Placing Todd under three years' probation, the judge also ordered the defendant to complete a sexual offenders programme.

ANON Apr 16th, 2016 @ 12:48 PM

1/2...Former school caretaker who abused vulnerable girl in 1990s handed jail term…

A former school caretaker who tricked a young and "vulnerable" girl into performing a sex act on the pretence of a game has been given a two-year jail sentence.

Sentencing 60-year-old Mark Gerard Cole, Newry Crown Court Judge Kevin Finnegan QC said he hoped the end of the case would "give some measure of closure" to the paedophile's victim, a woman now in her 20s.

He also ordered the defendant to spend three years on probation after his release.

At an earlier hearing, Cole, originally from Thomas Street in Warrenpoint but whose address was given as c/o Magilligan prison, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of indecent assault against his victim on dates between July 1997 and July 2001, when she would have been between four and seven years old.

Opening the case, prosecuting lawyer Fiona O'Kane revealed how the victim "gained the fortitude to come forward" in December 2014 after reading in the Press how her tormentor had been jailed for sexually abusing three other girls.

The previous month, Cole was handed a five-year sentence, with two years to be spent in jail and three on probation, after he pleaded guilty to 19 counts of indecent assault on various dates between May 30, 1990 and June 30, 1999.

Cole, who was a caretaker at St Mark's High School in Warrenpoint, admitted 15 offences in relation to one victim, three counts in relation to a second victim and a single charge in relation to a third. In court yesterday, Mrs O'Kane said that while she was at pains to avoid minimising the old cases, the abuse carried out previously was "not as grave" as the latest crime.

ANON Apr 16th, 2016 @ 12:46 PM

2/2...The lawyer described how Cole's latest "extremely young and vulnerable" victim had to endure what he told her was a game but which she now realises was oral sex.

Arrested following the revelations, Cole confessed during police interviews and subsequently pleaded guilty when he was first arraigned.

Mrs O'Kane submitted that while she accepted the defendant was assessed as being at a medium risk of reoffending, he had caused a "high degree" of harm to his victim, and that his culpability was also high in that the offences represented a serious breach of trust.

Defence barrister Kevin Magill told the court that Cole had expressed "genuine remorse and empathy" for his victim and that the main feature to take into account was the "totality principle", referring to the sentence that would have been passed had this case been dealt with at the same time as the previous one.

Conceding that it would be "foolish" to suggest a heavier sentence would not have been passed, the lawyer revealed that had it not been for the fresh allegations, Cole would have been freed last November.

He adding that the defendant wanted "to do everything that's required of him" so he can attempt to rebuild his life.

As well as the jail term, which Judge Finnegan said was a consecutive sentence, Cole was ordered to sign the sex offenders' register for 10 years and given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

ANON Apr 14th, 2016 @ 01:52 PM

1/2...Children left in care homes after abuse claims…

The head of the State’s child protection agency, Tusla, has confirmed that children are left in foster homes where abuse allegations have surfaced, insisting that removing them would be worse.

Tusla chief executive Fred McBride made his comments yesterday in the wake of the latest abuse allegations involving foster children in the west of Ireland, which were uncovered by RTÉ’s Investigations Unit.

Mr McBride said children would only be removed from the foster home “as a last resort”, claiming that removing them from the home would significantly add to their trauma.

He said the policy is to remove the abuse and, if possible, the abuser from the situation.

“We have to be careful because simply removing young people or children from a situation where there may be abuse can cause its own difficulties,” Mr McBride told RTÉ radio.

“Young people are often very traumatised after being removed from their foster case. We must focus much more on removing the abuse and where possible the abuser.

“If removed, the child will often see it as a punishment and it can add significantly to their suffering. We must be very careful not to make the situation worse.

“Let’s make no mistake, separation and loss causes huge trauma for children, many of whom have already suffered separation and loss.

All foster children are visited on a regular basis and their views are ascertained. They want the abuse to go away but they do not want to be removed,” said Mr McBride.

ANON Apr 14th, 2016 @ 01:49 PM

2/2...Asked about the foster home in question, Mr McBride said there are no foster children there at present and it is not being used in any way by Tusla.

Mr McBride said the boy in question, ‘Daniel’, is still in contact with the home and visits it regularly.

He said if there is clear evidence that no risk is posed to the children, then removing them from the home has to be a last resort.

Great care has to be taken before such a decision is made, he said.

“By listening to children, we know they do not want to be separated from their families, or their foster families, even where abuse occurs,” he said.

Mr McBride refused to be drawn into the specific detail of the latest case, but insisted that his approach to leaving children in a home where allegations exist is in line with child protection law.

Mr McBride said individual cases are assessed and dealt with on a proportionate basis.

In relation to Daniel’s case, Mr McBride said the boy is now receiving an aftercare service which is monitored regularly. “We monitor all children in foster care on a regular basis and this case would have been no different.

There are visits from social workers who contact the children. The monitoring would be proportionate to the level of risk,” he said.

“There are a number of risks in foster care, as there are in any family.”

Asked how children could be left in the home when the HSE considered a 2007 allegation as credible, Mr McBride said: “We have an absolute duty to see children get individualised care plans, risk assessments where appropriate.”

“Two different children in the same home could have different needs. Children in foster care are subject to regularly statutory reviews and assessments,” he added.

ANON Apr 14th, 2016 @ 01:47 PM

Agencies demand inquiry after claims of children left in foster care despite allegations of sexual abuse…

Several agencies charged with representing vulnerable children and young adults in State care have demanded an independent inquiry into allegations that children were left in foster care settings despite allegations of sexual abuse.

Tusla confirmed it is referring its handling of the latest case to an independent review panel for adjudicating.

Following reports in the Irish Examiner about the case of an intellectually disable young woman in a Waterford foster home, the government announced the establishment of a commission of inquiry.

Sources last night indicated the inquiry could be expanded to examine these new allegations.

Fred McBride, chief executive of Tusla the Child and Family Agency said it does not have the money necessary to spend on protecting children and providing family support.

Jennifer Gargan, director of advocacy group EPIC, criticised Tusla for failing to provide about one in 10 foster carers with a link social worker.

The ISPCC called for a full independent investigation of the fresh allegations highlighted by the RTÉ Investigations Unit.

Chief executive Grainia Long said: “It is paramount that the voices of children are heard, listened to, and acted upon. It is essential, for example, that where concerns exist regarding a child in a foster care setting, all children in that setting are met with and any concerns explored.”

Waterford Fine Gael TD John Deasy, who was to the fore of highlighting the case of ‘Grace’, said the scope of the investigation into the allegations of abuse at the foster home now needs to be widened.

James Reilly, the acting children’s minister, said through a spokesman last night that he was not informed by Tusla of the latest allegations until Monday.

Concerns were first raised in 2007 when a young girl in respite care with a foster family alleged she had been abused by a then 18-year-old member of that family.

HSE inquiries found the girl’s claims to be “credible”, but it was decided two other foster children could remain with the family and that the alleged abuser was not to have unsupervised contact with them.

ANON Apr 14th, 2016 @ 01:44 PM

'Third of Irish children living in deprivation'….

Almost a third of all Irish children live in deprived households, a new UNICEF study has shown.

The new report, which examines Ireland among 40 other OECD countries, states that children are now the most neglected demographic in Irish society.

Ireland currently has the fourth worst income inequality in the EU, with an income gap of over 76pc.

It places this country just below the UK, Belgium and Bulgaria.

However, Ireland's gap narrows to just over 41pc once social protection payments are made. These payments are known as social transfers.

But UNICEF says this gap is unsustainable and leaves many families "living on the edge".

Households are deemed deprived if they cannot afford at least three items from a list of essential items, as defined by the EU.

Items on the list include housing, heating, utility bills and a protein meal every second day.

Other essentials are the ability to face unexpected expenses, a holiday, a phone, a TV, a washing machine or a car.

Peter Power, Executive Director of UNICEF Ireland, said: "100 years ago this month, the Proclamation proclaimed to cherish all Irish children equally."

"This report demonstrates that as a demographic group Irish children are falling behind other sections of society."

Writing in the Irish Independent, Mr Power added: "The message is stark: as inequality increases, wealthy nations of the world are failing their most vulnerable children," he said.

"Those with the least ability to narrow the gaps are being allowed to fall furthest behind."

UNICEF has urged the incoming government to act on the findings, saying that all other groups in Irish society were better protected during the economic collapse than children.

The body also called for protection of incomes of households with the poorest children, the improvement of educational achievements of disadvantaged learners and the promotion of healthy lifestyles for all children and young people.

ANON Apr 13th, 2016 @ 12:24 PM

Fresh case of alleged foster sex abuse…

Children in a foster home in the West of Ireland were left in the care of a foster family for several years, despite serious allegations of sexual abuse arising against one family member.

In a story which has striking similarities to the case of “Grace”, who was subjected to savage rape and abuse for 20 years in a foster home in Waterford, the foster family at the centre of this case has, until recently, continued to provide some support services.

The details of the fresh allegations were revealed in an RTÉ Investigations Unit report, Failure to Foster Care, which was broadcast last night.

The report claimed that some HSE staff were aware of the allegations for a number of years, despite HSE director general Tony O’Brien claiming at the Public Accounts Committee in February that he was unaware of any other cases like this.

Up to recently, the foster family at the centre of this case continued to provide some support services.

The case involves a foster family this time in the West of Ireland where children were left in the family’s care despite serious allegations of sexual abuse against one family member. In May 2007, a young girl in respite care with the family alleged she had been abused by a then 18-year-old member of the family.

Following an investigation, the HSE assessed the disclosure by the child as ‘credible’.

Last April, RTÉ’s Investigations Unit revealed the full extent of the story of a young woman in foster care now known by the pseudonym ‘Grace’. Recent reports in the Irish Examiner about the ‘Grace’ case led to the Government deciding to establish a Commission of Inquiry.

‘Grace’, who has profound intellectual disabilities, was left in a foster home in Waterford for almost 20 years despite a succession of sexual abuse allegations..

ANON Apr 13th, 2016 @ 12:21 PM

1/2...Kincora abuse probe disarray as second witness Colin Wallace rules out testifying…

The inquiry into historical sex abuse at the former Kincora boys' home in east Belfast has been dealt a second blow in as many days after another key witness yesterday vowed he would not testify at the probe.

Former Army captain Colin Wallace spoke out after another witness, Roy Garland, said he would not speak at the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry (HIA) in Banbridge.

Both men feel it does not have enough power to get answers and were disappointed by a High Court ruling that barred a judicial review of Secretary of State Theresa Villiers' decision not to refer Kincora to the more powerful London-based Goddard Inquiry.

Mr Wallace previously told this newspaper that with witnesses ageing every day, time was quickly running out to get to the truth of what really happened at Kincora.
"Is the sexual abuse of children in London really more significant than the sexual abuse of children in Northern Ireland?" he asked.

An unknown number of children were abused at the east Belfast boys' home, which operated from 1958 until 1980.

In 1981, three senior care staff were jailed for abusing